August 3, 1911 - August 21, 2015
Leo Plass of Redmond died of natural causes at the age of 104. He was a retired Building Contractor.
At his request, no formal services will be held; his urn will be placed at the Redmond Memorial Cemetery next to his wife, Wanda.
Granville Plass and his twin brother Melville were born in Wallowa, Oregon, where they grew up and graduated from Wallowa High School in 1930; he spent three years at Eastern Oregon Normal School, a teacher’s college in LaGrande, Oregon. He would have been in the first graduating class at Eastern but quit a term short of graduation when he was offered $150 a month wages by a logging contractor. His teaching job near LaGrande would have paid $80 per month.
During the Great Depression Era, he worked at various lumber and construction jobs to finance his college education and make a living. In the 1930’s he drove truck for consolidated Freight Lines in Boise, Idaho and built temporary lodging for families of men constructing the Hoover Dam. In the early 40’s he owned and operated a service station and parking lot on 5th street in Portland, and later worked for the White Motor Company and Commercial Credit Company. Leo was an Office Manager for Calkins Finance Company in Eugene. He and his wife Wanda moved to Redmond in 1946.
They bought 55 acres, where the Reindeer Ranch is now located, for $2,500 and Leo built their first house. By 1947 Leo had his own building and remodeling business. Leo built 59 custom homes in the Bend/Redmond area before retiring in 1998. The highlight of Leo’s later years was his graduation from Eastern Oregon University in 2011 at the age of 99, a world record.
Leo was a member of the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, Machinists, and Carpenters unions, and the State Builders and Oregon Grange. He holds a Life Membership in the Redmond Elks Lodge. He and Wanda joined the Redmond Saddle Club in 1946 and they spent winters in Arizona for over 20 years. At the age of 73, Leo traveled to Santa Clara County to help rebuild after an earthquake. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hunting, horseback packing into the high country, and traveling. Leo’s hobbies were photography, and woodworking. In his later years he built many bird houses for friends and charities.
Leo was preceded in death by his wife Wanda and all of his siblings. Leo had no children of his own and is survived by his twin brother’s children: niece Barbara McClure of Elgin, Oregon, and nephew Greg Plass of Salem, Oregon.